Archive for the ‘Students’ Category

Since potential students are discovering this blog, I thought I should post what we do in this class. It’s fun, it’s relevant, and it will help your marketing and sales career.

Course Description

“Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)” continues the study of Marketing introduced in MKTG 2300 Principles of Marketing, by focusing on the Promotion element of the marketing mix. The model of IMC recognizes that brands benefit from an integration of all elements of the marketing mix, including advertising, personal selling, public relations, sales promotion, sponsorship, interactive marketing, and other marketing channels.

The course will provide the theoretical underpinnings of a set of concepts, approaches and tools in integrated marketing communications that students will apply not only in their work for the course, but also in their career endeavors. The course presents not only the strategies of traditional marketing programs, but also the growth and influence of new media, alternative methods and approaches, and the challenges and issues faced by marketers in the context of a changing marketing communications discipline.

Most importantly, however, this course is built on experiential education where by students work on real world projects for actual clients. These projects should not only give students good practice on how to approach an IMC campaign, but it will also help them understand how to successfully manage a project, how to develop a flourishing relationship with the client and all project stakeholders, and how to ‘sell’ themselves or their ideas. As a writing intensive course, students write individually and as a team a wide variety of marketing communication pieces.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course students should:

  1. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the basic concepts of integrated marketing communications (IMC), as well as to display knowledge of key marketing communications components.
  2. Understand how integrated marketing communications is used in various organizations (IMC) and in business as a whole domestically and internationally.
  3. Develop a basic integrated marketing communications (IMC) plan showing applicable target markets, use of the marketing communications mix, and an appropriate understanding of market research.
  4. Identify key marketing communications elements and show a level of understanding of these elements. These include
    1. the marketing communications process
    2. advertising and media buying
    3. public relations
    4. promotions and trade promotions
    5. interactive marketing
    6. direct or person-to-person marketing
    7. marketing communication evaluation and measurement
  5. Create, write, or utilize basic interactive marketing tactics including:
    1. social media, search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), websites, blogs, podcasts, email campaigns, video sharing, online communities, and content publishing
  6. Show marketing problem solving skills through analysis and environmental scanning.
  7. Show improved practical oral and written communication skills demonstrating sound critical thinking.
  8. Posses a fundamental understanding of what it takes to work in marketing communications.

My favorite part of this course are the assignments. I have taught just about everything related to marketing. My students have written exceptional marketing plans, done fabulous research and analyzed every product under the sun. These are great tools for students to apply what they are learning and for me to assess whether they did or not. New marketing graduates rarely get to create a marketing plan at their first job unless they join a really small company, but it’s still important to know how to write one. In this class–more than any other I teach–I feel the assignments perfectly capture what my students need to know about communicating and marketing.

Blog – Keep a blog on WordPress.com. Write weekly (or more) about anything you find that has to do with promotional communications (and to a greater extent marketing).

Individual Assignments (200 points)

  • Look around your home or office, and find a favorite possession, or at least one you regard highly.  This could be anything from a piece of artwork, an electronic reader such as a Kindle, a book, a piece of jewelry, a book, a hat, a postcard, a food item…you name it.  However, this object must be transportable, as I want you to bring it to class. During class you’ll promote this object to your classmates—in essence persuading us to want to “own” this object.  Come to class prepared to verbally persuade us.  Also, think about other techniques (beyond verbal persuasion) that could be used to promote this object to others and briefly mention some of those techniques in your oral presentation.  Plan to spend about five minutes making your presentation. (25 points)
  • Segment your brand – Analyze your internet presence. What can people (friends, family, potential employers) find out about you on the web? Go to http://www.scottmonty.com/ and click on “Where to Find Me.” If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, make one.  Build your network (ask me, your classmates, etc. to join your network). Write a 1-page analysis of your personal internet presence and be prepared to talk about it in class. (25 points)
  • Design and write an ad for your favorite thing. Come to class prepared to informally present your ad. You may create the ad however you wish (drawing, using a computer, cutting and pasting images, or any combination). For 10 points of extra credit, write a radio ad for the same product. (50 points)
  • Based on our discussions and your readings, create a Social Media Plan for a favorite product of a trusted adult in your life, such as your mother, mentor, religious leader or manager.

Integrated Marketing Communication Plan – As a small group of 2 to 4 students, develop and write a one-year communications plan–based on a product or service of your choice.  Give an oral business presentation of your final project during the final class session. Each component of the plan, as noted in your syllabus is worth 15 points for a total of 150 points. The final 50 points is based on your oral presentation and your final written report.


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Let’s all help celebrate Grandma Cathy!

A viral birthday event…

Leah's Blog

We all have that special lady in our lives. The one that spoiled you a litte more than your mom did, that slipped you an extra $20 when you went back to your college dorm after a weekend with her and just made you feel like the most special girl in the whole world. My special lady loves shoes, dancing, going to church, praying, cats, the City of Saint Paul, Judy Garland records, cleaning, cleaning up after her eldest granddaughter, singing, sewing and so much more.  Grandma Cathy is having a milestone birthday on Sunday, November 25th. She is turning 70.

Grandma Cathy is very dear to my heart. She worked her tail off for her entire life to get to where she is today. I moved in with her when I was 15 and she raised me. I believe she is responsible for turning me in to the bright young woman I…

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iPad users and/or accounting majors/accountants, I’d love to hear what you think of Grid.

Here are some words of wisdom from Co.Design (my favorite business magazine):

A Spreadsheet App For iPads That Makes Number-Crunching A Treat

After helping design Excel 2013, Josh Leong struck out on his own, launching a collaborative spreadsheet app for iPad and iPhone.IPads are capable of doing wonderful things. For example, they can entertain cats. They can stream Netflix. And they let us read Game of Thrones in relative secrecy. In other words, they’re great for passive entertainment. But when it comes to work-related tasks, like data entry, Apple’s tablet tends to fall short of the average laptop. Josh Leong, the CEO and creator of a new spreadsheet app called Grid, is one of many young app developers hoping to change that.

Grid, which launched in beta last week, takes basic Excel functionality and updates it with an intuitive, touch-based interface for mobile OS X devices. With Grid, you can input numbers, of course, but also places, people, and media files–even video. Leong calls it “a universal app for organizing, planning, thinking, and solving everyday problems.”

Leong is uniquely qualified to comment on Excel’s shortcomings. “I worked on Excel 2013,” he writes on his website. “I’ve been collecting not only anecdotal and personal stories but also doing a tremendous amount of user research.” His idea for Grid came from a simple insight: People use Excel for an incredibly diverse number of reasons, from invoicing to party planning, but the software is only geared towards a small “power user” minority. As he told TechCrunch’s Frederic Lardinois, “The tools in Excel, however, are built around power users who write their own VBA scripts and juggle massive spreadsheets.”

Read more.

Have you tried Grid? What do you think?



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My integrated marketing communications students write amazing blogs about advertising, communications, social media, and our local business landscape. Below is a stunning excerpt analyzing a series of videos from our local company, Best Buy.


Post #4: Best Buy– Where You Can Exchange Stuff or Change the World.

My overall impression of this commercial was dashed by the poor advertisement at the end, but all of the innovators featured in the commercial were things that I wanted to know more about so, of course, to the Internet I went. On YouTube, I immediately found the Best Buy channel, where all of their full-length commercials are archived. All of their “Future Innovators” are featured as well as the slightly older commercials “Mobile Innovators” (remember “we created Words with Friends”?). When you take the time to watch the longer features, they end with something so much more appropriate! “Making technology work for you,” “When the technology is right, anything can happen,” “A better way to a better world,” are all slogans that both identify and solve a consumer problem and create a significantly stronger ad campaign. See?

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Are you curious how students apply social media? The following is a great example from one of my super-smart students.



Product:  Any snowmobile accessory

Person:  Any snowmobile enthusiast

My husband is a snowmobile enthusiast, and he is in good company. According to Snowmobile.org, of the 2.2 million snowmobiles registered in the United States and Canada in 2011, approximately 75% are owned by men who are, on average, 43 years of age and are a member of a household with an average annual income of $65,000.  With a desire to enhance and personalize a snowmobile, accessories are often acquired within the first year of purchasing a new sled.  Targeting the new snowmobile buyer definitely provides a market to target; as an example, over 123,000 new snowmobiles were purchased worldwide in 2011, the majority in North America, with nearly 52,000 sold in the U.S. and 41,000 in Canada.

The sport of snowmobiling is filled with a tech savvy crowd, but one that is reflective of a group more likely to spend time improving the performance of their sled than hanging out surfing Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.  The internet to a lot of these guys, is a tool, a means to an end.  And let’s face it ladies, women may own 25% of the sleds (I’m one of them) but we’re not the ones typically shopping for sled accessories.

So how does a manufacturer of after-market accessories reach their target market using social media? Let’s first understand how these guys use the internet and social media today:

  • Discussion boards –these are often the first place they go to reach out to peers in the virtual ‘hood,’ solving snowmobile issues, gathering advice, buying and selling, and checking out snow conditions. These forums serve as a strong community of like-minded riders who support and razz each other, as the situations call for.  There is significant opportunity for manufacturers to offer free advice, gather raw feedback, and respond to inquiries on these  boards. Some with the most active discussions are:
  • YouTube – no better way to demonstrate a product, its installation or use. Video can fill the gaps left by one dimensional photographs and narrative instructions. Most snowmobilers I know  enjoy an action-packed snowmobile video, so including brief advertisements at the front of snowmobile videos would be a great way to gain brand recognition.

Snowmobile Accessory Manufactures: A call to social media action.

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Perhaps the best summary of the class was described in the recent article, “The Art of the Tale: St. Kate’s business course on storytelling,” in the St. Kate’s News.

Measuring the return on my investment requires minimal reflection and thought. Naturally, the most tangible measures will be my final grade and the completion of four more credits toward my B.S. degree, but perhaps the most valuable benefits will be intangible:

  • The confidence I developed in sharing my voice online – that others might think what I have to say is worth the investment of their time to read.
  • The enthusiasm I developed for social media and how to leverage it to make my life easier (enter my new favorite crowd-sourcing GPS app: WAZE!)
  • The interest I’ve developed in Marketing itself. I am beginning to believe I have untapped talents for marketing and selling that I can leverage in my next career step.
  • The personal fulfillment that results from developing friendships and network relationships with the peers, professors, and speakers from the class.
So it’s clear, at least to me, that my investment of time and financial resources will be repaid, many times over!

Post #10: Measuring Return on Investment.

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I’m not sure I like Facebook, but I use it. Trust it? Not at all. I believe that each medium has its purpose. A business or an individual has to know their goals and choose the media that will most effectively get them there quicker.

Remember that “entertainment” and “fun” are legitimate goals, too.

Click below for a lovely super-smart student post about social media.

via Social Media: Like or Unlike.

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